Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday's as good a day as any for a crackdown.

Well, here we go again.

As of today, the NYPD has launched "Operation Safe Cycle," which is a cool policey way of saying:

CRACKDOWN, BABY!

Here's what they'll be going after:

The initiative will target the following hazardous violations that create a danger for pedestrians and bicyclists: failure to stop at a red light, disobey a traffic signal or sign, riding the wrong direction against traffic, riding on the sidewalk, and failure to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. An additional focus will be given to motorists who obstruct bicycle lanes, which creates a hazardous condition for bicyclists. 

By the way, if you're wondering what "additional focus" on motorists who obstruct bike lanes means, it's a cool policey way of saying motorists will be encouraged to obstruct bike lanes.

Now, just to put this in its proper context, remember the white flags that appeared on the Brooklyn Bridge awhile back that had everybody thinking we were about to be invaded by ISIS?


Well, a parody Twitter account that clearly states it is a parody count tweeted a tweet that was obviously a parody:
Just to explain the joke for you out-of-towners, while the Brooklyn Bridge path ostensibly has a bicycle lane, it is always mobbed by tourists, making passage by bicycle nearly impossible.  So now you get it.

But you know who didn't get it?  The District Attorney.  Because guess what?

The Bike Lobby Twitter was subpoenaed!
Like really subpoenaed:
This is completely insane, especially considering they won't even subpoena your cellphone records to find out if you were behind the wheel when your car was used in a hit-and-run.

As for the flags, after all that it turns out that Dieter from "Sprockets" was behind them:


Mr. Leinkauf added: “From our Berlin background, we were a little surprised that it got the reaction it did. We really didn’t intend to embarrass the police.”

Yeah, but they did, and everybody knows that when you embarrass the authorities in New York City, the first thing they do is punish someone on a bike.

But back to the matter at hand, which is the crackdown:


(Crack.  Down.  Crackdown.)

Sure it may be misguided, and sure some people will get tickets for stuff that's not even illegal, like cycling in flip-flops, but that doesn't mean you should want to get caught in it.  Nevertheless, every time there's one of these crackdowns I watch legions of cyclists roll through red lights right in front of the police.  It happens every damn time, usually around places like the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, and the riders are usually of the crooked-Bern-helment-and-brand-new-Linus variety--you know, the ones who look like they moved here last week from Oshkosh.

Furthermore, it's fairly easy to avoid getting ensnared, because generally the way the NYPD approaches these crackdowns (whether the crackdown is on cyclists, or jaywalkers, or drivers on cellphones) is that they pick various spots around town where there's lots of congestion and everybody's moving really slowly, and then they just hang out there in a very obvious way and then pick off the idiots one by one.  Please note I said "generally," because yes, there are exceptions, and they will occasionally do stuff like leap out of an undercover police car disguised as a taxi and tackle your Oshkoshian ass to the street because you're guilty of some non-offense like cycling while operating a Thermos.  Still, for the most part, the crackdown will mostly consist of a cop hanging out at an intersection in plain sight and then pointing at you after you ride through the light right in front of him, so don't be that idiot.

This has been a Bike Snob NYC Pubic Service Announcement.


Meanwhile, in more Fredly news, the dick-breaks-on-Fred-bikes debate rages on:


(A dick break on a road bike.)

Apparently, one of the main concerns about introducing road dicks to pro cycling is that they may work their way off and decapitate the riders or something:

Safety is a genuine concern. Disc rotors are sharp, like spinning knives that have been heated in a 500-degree oven. They can easily slice flesh, and will burn on contact after a hard stop (“at least you’ll get cut and cauterized at the same time,” Brown joked).

Riders are understandably concerned, as it is their flesh that is on the line. For Garmin’s Nathan Haas, safety is the only factor that really matters. “Do you know how hot a disc brake gets under braking? If you crashed on one with your face, your face is going to melt,” he said. “Keep it out of the sport. It doesn’t belong. Just don’t do it.”

After reading this, I've decided that I want the UCI to allow road dicks immediately--not because I want to see anybody hurt, far from it.  No, what I want to see is the entire Tour de France peloton wearing full flame-retardant body suits with full-face helments.  That way they'll all look like those Eurotrash twins in Daft Punk as they fly down those Alpine descents.

Furthermore, a wholesale adoption of dick breaks can only mean those old rim job components will get cheaper, which means deep discounts on stuff like high-end hubs with "obsolete" spacing and axle diameters for the rest of us who are mostly content to live in the recent past when it comes to cycling equipment--or who already consider what we have to be dick breaks:


Speaking of retrogrouchy tendencies, last week I mentioned the surprisingly complex process of aligning your saddle, and a reader by the name of Randall sent me what he calls the "Original 1960 "Scranus" Campy Alignment Tool"


1960
Catalog #14. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included are the Record road and track groups comprising Record cotterless crankset (151mm bolt circle) and Gran Sport bottom bracket, small and large flange Record alloy one-piece hubs, seat post (now all alloy), Gran Sport headset, Record front derailleur, Gran Sport rear derailleur, Gran Sport pedals. Also in the catalog are the Gran Sport Group (includes Record front derailleur), Sport Group, Gran Sport cottered bottom bracket (note that there is no accompanying cottered crankset), Gran Sport track pedal with and without teeth, wood-boxed tool set, the Saddle-Line alignment tool and the Acciaio (steel) small flange hubs.


You never know when your saddle may move out of alignment after a fall, so I always carry two of these babies in my saddle bag.

90 comments:

dnk said...

Crack down on this mafucka!

Anonymous said...

Yeee Haw!

Vernal Magina said...

how many l's in caliper?

Marcel Da Chump said...

Crackdown is wackdown

Flyover BC said...

top ten

JB said...

DIKB RAKE

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...GREAT SHANKY!

John D. said...

OMG! OMG!

BamaPhred said...

Good Grief!

Flyover BC said...

Will the cops be ticketing people for non-hazardous violations?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i also carry an alignment tool for my dick break.

P. Bateman said...

for real top 15? hell yeah.

good luck to you NYC'ers downing all that crack.

JB said...

Is it me, or is the assertion that flying dicks will decapitate a nuevo-Cipo or red-hot dicks will brand crashing riders a teensy bit far-fetched?

Also, won't you think about the tri-geeks? Can you imagine the transition zone from the biking to the running that occurs shortly after a long descent? The crashing and the branding and the decapitating.

Decree: All bike tri routes shall end within 100 yards of a minimum 5-mile ascent.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i did overhear a conversation between two men yesterday:

man 1: fuck this bike lane shit!

man 2: why? what happened?

man 1: them fucking police gave me a ticket for parking my car in this one today.

man 2: fuckin ... (couldn't hear no more as i was too far)

Bryan said...

I don't ever want dick brakes on my fredly steed. Maybe...MAYBE my commuter at some point, since i go less than 15 miles and have at most 350 feet (US) of climbing. Also one would think that with dick breaks there would be plenty of room fenders (which I was SORELY missing yesterday as I got caught in a storm on my ride home - does that make it epic??). But who am I kidding...my commuter will probably always be an old bike that I picked up for <100 dollars (US) and has cantis.
I've put together a few mountain bikes with dick brakes, and dammit if it isn't a pain in the ass to make adjustments on them (for someone who doesn't do it all to often). Like I would want to have to do that on the road...
Robot says 6

Anonymous said...

you crack me up

ken e. said...

is this saddle level?

babble on said...

Huh. You know how much I love a good dick, but suddenly the expression "That's so hot!" takes on a whole new meaning.
So the two big fat dicks on my old Rocky Mountain Soul are okay, because I will never ever need to brake hard coming back down the mountain again? ??!?

Good thing I live in the Great White North. In all these years I've never yet noticed them even get warm.

Herschel Raney said...

I have disc brakes on my mountain bike. Work fine. I don't worry about them. If I could launch them intentionally with some directionality, like hot saucer carotid slicers that would be great. Are my road calipers easier to maintain. Likely.

As for Mister Williams. It is still a bummer. Apparently Robin Williams had over 60 bicycles. He referred to them as one of his therapies. Unfortunately one of his therapies that failed.

We all saw Robin in some of those high-wire, guided missile rants of his with genius and fireworks mixed in. Clearly many times we thought, wow, Robin has true mania and he channels through it comically. Very few could stay up with him in those times. His brain leapt between the gaps in space.

And what was it like to come off those? We all have lows, true depressions even, but the lows off of Robin’s highs must have been Alpine deep. Hard to imagine. It is a shame he could not make it through another one. Do we even have the right to ask for that? He must have waded through and out of some black on black we can’t even understand. So many times.

I am not one of those who depends on a ‘heaven’ for later on. So I don’t wish it for people. But anyway, stardust to stardust Robin. Welcome back.

Freddy Murcks said...

I rolled through a stop light on my way to work this morning. I stopped, confirmed that no cars were coming, and proceeded on my way. I feel justified in doing this because I am an adult and I can make my own choices about my own safety.



510

Freddy Murcks said...

Oh, and by the way. FUCK THA POLICE!!!!








11119

crosspalms said...

"like spinning knives that have been heated in a 500-degree oven"

Motorists beware.

3G said...

Art is most certainly in the eye of the beholder. I for one, think this is the dumbest "art" thing ever.

the Jimboner said...

fudge packed

crosspalms said...

Apparently no crackdown in Chicago, at least not last night. On my commute home, I stopped at a red light. On the opposite side of the intersection, 2 cops on bikes also stopped. A third guy rode up behind them, looked both ways, and ran the red right in front of them. They didn't care.

Angry Beaver said...

If recomb babe had been on each flag, you would have had four tits is what you would have had. Then it actually would have been art.

Angry Beaver said...

If recomb babe had been on each flag, you would have had four tits is what you would have had. Then it actually would have been art.

Anonymous said...

I'm ok with crackdowns if they actually are related to safe bicycle driving...

Violations like:
Parking in Bike Lane
Failure to yield (at a Stop, for example)
(I think running a red is just stupid, but maybe your city's red lights are more stupid than mine).
Riding with 2 earplugs in.
Wrong way riding (a factor in 25% of the accidents around here. See: http://tims.berkeley.edu/tools/gismap/index.php
Riding without lights at night.
Riding without a helmet (for youths here in CA).
Motorists who don't signal and merge into the bike lane before turning right.

What do you think?

But lately we have had PD camped out at stop signs on major bike routes, looking for rolling stops. Useless, annoying, and expensive.

Flyover BC said...

Yesterday, I got admonished for salmoning down a one-way alley that serves mostly as a parking lot.

I pulled over so the guy could pass, and just grinned when he said "Einbahnstrasse" as he passed.

Of course I know its a one way street. On the other hand I saw a bike salmon on the same alley, nearly nail a tourist, and then act like was the pedestrian's fault.

trama said...

POTD: Herschel Raney

Dics baeks on road haha dumb. Dics braeks on dirt haha dumb (river mud is bad for them). Dumb!
I wonder, on rigid fokrs they musts make one leg stronger to resits the torsion, so the bike has unmatched blades..this is better? Hey cycle industry: suk my ballz.

babble on said...

It gets old, being the target of everyone's animosity. Drivers hate us cause we slow them down and pedestrians hate us cause they have to look, too, instead of just listening for traffic. Half of them walk out on the road without even checking to see if I am there, and the other half don't believe that I am going to stop and stand there stupidly when I do.

Mr Raney - thank you for your thoughts, and yes, I agree. There are a fair few bi-polar faces on my family nutbar tree, and it's true: what goes up must come down.

I was the last person to see my dear cousin Merritt alive before she took her own life, and let me tell you: that particular loss is a shock that never completely goes away. Approximately 3800 Canadians took their own life last year, primarily middle aged men, and yet their stories remain largely untold.

Pablo Fleece said...

I thought dick break rotors were already used as weapons by recent NYC immigrants, no?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcVdeIi5QNU

James said...

So will the cops add additional focus to themselves for being in the bike lanes?

http://copsinbikelanes.tumblr.com

PotbellyJoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred of the Sea said...

"...you're guilty of some non-offense like cycling while operating a Thermos"

Oh, I say, that's rich!

However, it should only be a non-offense if you are using the thermos in hot mode and endangering innocent taxpayers with a red-hot beverage, the which could self-deploy like a spinning knife.

I am against disk brakes, like all cycling innovations after the cassette freewheel, but I make an exception for professional cycling because the counter-argument is so pathetically weenie.

Dalton said...

If some gave you a genuine Campy scranus aligner, you should sell it on E-bay before he asks for it back. Those "collectibles" sell for crazy money. They were intended to allow replacement of post and/or saddle without loosing height, fore/aft, or angular adjustments... the nose-up/nose-down angle, not whether seat aligns with top tube. That, it doesn't do. Campy must have assumed mechanics of yore had at least one good eye.

Significantly, they are of no help for transferring position to a different bike, so of very limited utility.

JLRB said...

I almost got taken out salmon style last night (not taken out for Salmon, which would be yummy). Some tool was riding towards me on a curvey, hilly part of a MUP - earphones in, appeared to be scrolling through play list on phone - one handed - looking down - bombing down the hill straight at me on my side of the MUP. He nearly crashed when I finally got his attention by shouting. His crack should be downed.

PotbellyJoe said...

I lost a friend to suicide. She was my world at the time. She was 18, I was 19, it was my brother's 16th birthday. I can never forget the date thanks to that coincidence. It will be 14 years this year. I empathize with those who are truly depressed. I have been there, my friend was there when she ended her life. It is terrible. The biggest problem is that it clouds your mind into thinking no one is there for you, or nothing will ever be any good. In reality the "escape" of suicide merely passes the baton of pain to your friends and family. It is a terrible terrible tragedy to lose people who feel they have no other option. It is even harder for friends and family who watch the decline and the aftermath.

Crackdowns are bullshit. All it says is that they weren't doing their jobs before so know they're going to hyper-focus on key items to "rein in" the belligerents. Screw them.

Tweed said...

Oshkosh Sconie love baby! Woot woot

Kenny Banya said...

WTF man, I've never heard of a mountain bike accident where limbs were lost by flying dick breaks.

Spokey said...

wow

27 pages of cops parking in bike lanes.

I see it here in snobbie's hemorrhoids but not a whole lot. I have seen the one where a cop car is parked in the bike lane maybe 100 yards behind a truck parked in the bike lane. Neither vehicle was occupied so I don't know that the cop ever saw the truck.

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the main concern with dik brakes on a road bike is putting all that torque on a wafer thin super-light crabon fork blade, they can break a steel fork as it is.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

"like spinning knives that have been heated in a 500-degree oven"

...isn't that a reason to WANT them?

DB said...

I'm here. Shopping for a multi-colored seersucker shirt. They're hard to find.
Snob: are you taking your bike to WRLD SMT or are they supplying one for you?

Spokey said...

i get salmoning all the time on the major roadways. never on the local streets that i can remember.

i take a look up the road to make sure there aren't any storm drains or other hazard and then steady my nerves and hang to the right. damned if i'm going to let a salmon force me in to 55-60 mph traffic. i think i've only had to brake once. i unclipped and stood there looking at the guy who eventually went around. presumably he though i was a real dik.

given my recent of experience of ripping the bike off the roof rack going in to the garage, the bike can probably withstand a head-on even if i don't come out as well. those co-motions must be built by ex-tank assemblers.

Joe Strummer said...

So you start wearing blue and brown and start working for the crackdown.

CommieCanuck said...

"like spinning knives that have been heated in a 500-degree oven"
...isn't that a reason to WANT them?


Fuck yeah, with spinning razor blades sticking out the side and all like Mad Max... chick bait, "oh yeah they are sharpened and reach 600 degrees, but I show no fear. Let's have sex."

Spokey said...

but rims can heat up too.

i remember we stopped every couple times coming off mckenzie pass on our x-country trip to cool down the rims. i made the mistake once of touching my rim to see if it was actually hot and burned my fingers. so how many TdF riders have been burned by 500 degree rims?

McFly said...

I like the dix breax on the MTB. Minimal leaf jammage. I still get one in between the fork brace and the tire every now and again and reach down there like an idiot. "Hmmmmmmmmmm is that on the safe or unsafe side for rolling removal? Can't remember....better grab it."

Anonymous said...

I have found that hitting middle age, and then exceeding it, making sure my saddle was on straight would be a waste of time. Because my scrotum is larger and more dangly than I ever thought would be possible, and certainly isn't as awesome as a young person would think, I have to sit my fat arse on the saddle a little to one side to accommodate my own self.

BamaPhred said...

Spinning knives? Aw c'mon man, Marsala was like all over that and see what happened to him.

Henceforce all dik break equipped fred machines will be known as a Scythed Chariot

1904 Cadardi said...

Spokey,

Lots.

How many racers, TdF or otherwise, have chainring shaped scars?

BamaPhred said...

Actually, Marsala is the correct pronunciation of Messala, if you live on Upper Yellowknife Creek

Turd Ferguson said...

Descents at the TdF will become an abattoir with all the rotating knives.

I'm surprised the dick breaks on my bike haven't twisted the frame like a pretzel. It's only a matter of time. You know, or not.

robot identification in 3...2...1

gE said...

I think they're onto something with those dick break hazards. I've been using mine to simultaneosly slice and sear bologna for my $75 artisinal sandwiches.

flanksteak_with_cheese said...

The bigger problem is using dick breaks in a large group of riders. It will make more crashes in the middle/back of the field.

I realize the industry is *desperate* to loose (not lose) caliper break so they can sell new stuff, but calipers are good enough with some rare exceptions.

Bryan said...

DB - we have a thrift shop in my little city that has plenty of multi colored seersucker sports jackets. I think it must be a southern thing/frat boy trend.
Instead of tridorks having dickbreaks, why doesn't it become mandatory to put spear tips on the front of their aerobars? hilarity and gruesome deaths to ensue

flank_steak_with_cheese said...

I wasn't clear. The case of super-heated disks is not likely at all.

You would need extended breaking, something that doesn't happen in big groups. Riders sprinting to the line aren't breaking.

Riders flailing along in cat 5 glory would have to use their breakes while they are flailing along to get the dick hot enough. AND THEN CRASH.

More made up stuff.

Drock said...

Here in the heart of USA po lice like to show up to group ride and explain the rules of the road even though they are cops from a different state. I take their pics and ask all my questions in French then flip them off and run a stop sign to get them all hot and bothered, since they don't speak French they leave me alone cause their cognitive function is that of a rock. Down the middle folks.

babble on said...

Aw jeez, are you kidding? My mountain bike is a forest fire hazard, really?! Who'da thunk it?

I usually have a chainring tattoo somewhere or other...

Freddy Murcks said...

Given their stunning (lack of) bike handling skills, I think tri weenies would be likely to break their dicks if they had dick brakes.







15178

RoadQueen said...

Someday, I'm gonna have me a phat tadpole trike with drum brakes.

Anonymous said...

B'Gosh man!!!.....Oshkosh bashing....Snobbers you suck....

Tri Again said...

Tri-dorks should stick to tricycles

Anonymous said...

I have several more months left here in Oshkosh. Then I am getting fuck out. A native of Oshkosh would indeed appear as depicted. After a lifetime on a Walmart BMX or Roadmaster BSO and never having ventured from the sidewalk now he is on a Linus - on the street (!) for the very first time. Of course he is going to be disoriented and confused.

wee willie winkle said...

oshkosh b'gosh

Spokey said...

ah wooda had a sammy w bieksicle all my life but weren't no sammy back then.

ah still gots ma jc higgy wit the faux stirma archey 2 speed. was 3 speed but ah can't git that little rod thing ajusted rite

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

"An additional focus will be given to motorists who obstruct bicycle lanes"

Means motorists will have to keep moving in the bike lane instead of sitting idling in the bike lane.

the view from 69 said...

sniggle

leroy said...

Note to self: do not ask dog if misaligned saddle makes my butt look big.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

My Recumbent Scythed Chariot's leading edge is the chainrings of the triple crank. If that don't get 'em the spinning knives that have been heated in a 500-degree oven on my wheels will.

Death Race 2000 on the bike path.

DB said...

Headed for Madison this weekend. Close to Oshkosh, kinda. Taking the bikes, ride around Lake Monona. Great biking town. Watching the Nationals tonight.

Fred of the Sea said...

Haven't had my osh koshed in weeks.

gE said...

RQ, don't join the dark side! Just remember, even us circus bears on clown bikes will be looking down on you - literally, if not figuratively.

McFly said...

Drock and RCT photo finish for COD. Drock sounds like he would be fun to hang with. Of course RCT does, too. But alas, he is on that damn 'bent.

DB said...

McFly: we'll all ride together at the BSNYC retirement home. Can't wait to meet Leroy's dog.

BamaPhred said...

Not one mention of Wednesday Weed.
Lots of crack.
Rave on Brother Snob
"The cops are gone, it's almost dawn, let's get Dixie Fried"

Grump said...

Since I'm one of those people who needs all the help I can get, I wonder if other racers will get out of my way if I show up with dick brakes mounted on some old Spinergy Rev-X that I have sitting around. With those dick brakes mounted on those old Spinergys, the other guys might think that I'm sort of insane Mohel, and not leave me in the dust on the bell lap.

tubasti said...

Disk brakes on road bikes--a lot of overhead for something that doesn't get used much.

Cal Iper said...

All this talk, talk, talk about brakes. It's time to stop.

David said...

The crackdown started the last week of July. There is an officer at 1st Ave and 36th/37th (she cunningly moves) and one just south of Houston on Chrystie (by the Whole Foods). I, um, spoke with the one on 1st Ave and she said she is nabbing salmons as well, though I can't see how, as she's looking southward. The other day she had 4-5 riders at once. It is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Anonymous said...

Every time a cyclist gets busted in NYC, an angle gets her wings...

JLRB said...

DB - Soriano sure makes it interesting - Going tosee my home team(Pirates)play my adopted home team (Nats) Sunday late afternoon, if I make it back in time from the boyz ride weekend...

Yes, I am taking my wife to a baseball game on our anniversary (and still have not replaced that pesky wedding band - caused some extra attention from a divorcee the other day...)

babble on said...

Remember to pick up a sparkly eternity ring for her when you replace your wedding band.

JLRB said...

Babs - the jeweler would certainly agree with your line of thinking! I was thinking of getting her a watch, so she can time the minutes she is stuck with me...

Fred of the Sea said...

JLRB, That must have been a wet ride home on Tuesday! The amount of silt on the roads was phenomenal yesterday a.m.

WIfe's original engagement and wedding trinkets lie at the bottom of the Caribbean. They have been replaced twice, to date, because losing them once was such trauma. I went Ti for 89 bucks when i replaced mine.

DB said...

JLRB: Nats!
Those pesky Pirates usually give us a difficult time.
I've had to replace three wedding bands due to them falling off in cold ocean swims or changing sizes. Have not replaced wife to date.

JLRB said...

DB - No McCutchen for this weekend's series - busted a rib somehow... Should be fun.

AND rings relatively cheap compared to wives!

JB said...

Apparent bicycle torture device

JLRB said...

All this talk of a crack down made me wonder what is new with the king of Crack - Rob Fordsesess